Digital technology entered our everyday life quite a long time ago and became its integral part – smartphones, tablets, mp3 players and other similar equipment: hardly any person can imagine his weekdays and weekends without it. One of the most compact and convenient units is exactly the mp3 player, which allows you to listen to music away from powerful music centers, computers and other players.
Literally every month new models are released, which differ greatly from each other in a number of parameters. Navigating this market segment is not very easy even for experienced users, so we decided to write a rating of the best mp3 players in 2020. Let’s first understand the main performance characteristics of this product, and then proceed to a direct analysis of specific models.
What do you pay attention to when choosing an mp3 player?
This device is an indispensable design for people who cannot imagine their daily life without music. It allows you to diversify various activities – travel by transport, sports, even ordinary routine work. Many people take the player with them for a run, while walking animals, and so on. Such products have a fairly compact size, on the body of most models you can find a special clothespin, due to which they are securely attached to clothes or a bag.
Be sure to find out what kind of central processor is installed in it before buying a device. The fact is that it is in it that the digital music signal is processed, which is subsequently transmitted to an autonomous speaker or headphones. The capacity of the battery allows you to ensure the duration of the device without the need to connect the charger. All similar designs are usually equipped with an amplifier. Its power level is usually low due to the compact size of the product itself.
In addition, the volume control will directly affect the sound quality of music. It can be smooth or stepped; on sale you can also find designs equipped with analog regulators. Software is also important: the better the software, the more formats it will support during operation. Many players have a small display on which you can watch videos or even full-length movies. However, most users point to this function as superfluous, since the main task of such a device is to play music in high quality, and you can watch movies on a computer or on a TV.
Be sure to pay attention to the maximum capacity of the device – it is advisable to purchase a player with the largest amount of memory, otherwise it will not be possible to accommodate all the tracks you like. When choosing models to include in our review of the best mp3 players, we took into account all these factors, but not only them: important attention was paid to the price-quality ratio and user feedback. We tried to choose models that are quite affordable in terms of cost, so that each of our readers can choose the best products for themselves.
Small size models for everyday use or sports
4. Sony NW-WS413
Products designed for use during active sports have been produced by this company for quite a long time. The main distinguishing feature is the presence of a Bluetooth module, which allows you to interface with smartphones and other third-party devices. In addition, there is a remote control. The device is reliably protected from dust, dirt and even salt water. The player is made in three colors – emerald, black and ivory. All models look very stylish. In general, the player itself looks like ordinary headphones: there are two small cups and a headband. At the same time, the headphones enter deep enough into the ear canals, so all the subtleties of the melody can be heard with good clarity. Despite this, even at maximum volume, this device will not overshadow the sounds of the world.
Comes with a cable for charging the battery. Management is quite simple, the buttons are large, rubberized. The case is made in accordance with the international standard IP68, which means immersion in the water column to a depth of one meter and staying there for half an hour. The internal memory, depending on the configuration, can be 4 or 8 GB, where you can download a decent amount of music tracks even in very high quality, for example, in .flac format. In offline mode, when you turn on the full volume, this device can work for about 12 hours, a quick charge function is provided. The sound quality is quite high, there are a number of branded settings, any genre will be played well, from classical music to modern house, blues, rap and other types.
- Excellent workmanship and assembly;
- Beautiful and stylish appearance;
- Well suited for any ear canals;
- Reliably protected from the effects of pollutants and moisture.
- Under water, listening is not very convenient, although they hold on tight enough.
3. Shanling M0
With small overall dimensions, the device has a fairly wide functionality. The key distinguishing point is a reliable case made of aluminum, which has additional stiffening ribs, its shape is square. It is covered with a layer of paint, protected from various kinds of external influences. Almost invisible in the hand. The volume control wheel is grooved, so it is quite convenient to scroll. The build quality is excellent – all elements of the case are fitted to each other quite tightly, there were no backlashes. All internal elements are fixed securely, nothing shakes or dangles. All corners are rounded, the bottom panel has a headphone jack and a USB Type C cable. The headphone plug is inserted quickly and easily, and is securely fixed in the socket. The volume wheel is also responsible for turning the device on and off.
On the opposite side, there is a slot closed by a plug for installing a microSD memory card, the capacity of which can reach 512 GB. The display diagonal is 1.54 inches, resolution – 240×240 pixels – quite decent for such a compact device. Watching a video on it is very inconvenient, but all menu items and various settings are visible just fine. Wide viewing angles are also not to be expected – after all, this is a player, not a smartphone or TV. The weight of the product is minimal: it is about 40 grams. The menu is clear enough, you won’t have to figure it out for a long time, which makes the player even more convenient.
- Elementary control – you can delve into it in a couple of minutes;
- Small overall dimensions;
- Acceptable cost;
- A decent amount of internal memory plus a slot for a flash drive;
- Nice appearance.
- The volume wheel is a bit hard to turn.
2. Ritmix RF-3450 8Gb
This is one of the cheapest models in our entire review of the best mp3 players, and the device is characterized by rather modest overall dimensions, so it can easily fit even in a jacket or trousers pocket. The case is made of high-quality plastic with a matte finish, which reliably protects the structure from slipping out of hands, and also does not allow dirt to accumulate on the surface. The last point is important due to the fact that the player is made in white. The overall dimensions of the device are small – they can be compared with a standard flash drive. Connects to a computer or other charger through the most common USB connector, which is hidden under a plastic removable cap. It will reliably protect it from the accumulation of dirt and moisture.
Data exchange with an external device is not too large – about 1 MB per second, so in order to download the music you like, you will have to stock up on a decent amount of patience. On the back of the case there is a switch, a headphone jack. On one of the ends there is a slot for installing a memory card, the largest capacity of which can reach 16 GB. On the front side there is a joystick and a liquid crystal display that displays all the information necessary for the user: the track being played, its duration, the remaining battery charge, and so on. Display brightness is average, although there is LED backlighting. The sound quality is at a quite decent level: bass lines are clearly audible, vocals, mids and highs are optimally superimposed.
- Very practical and easy to use model;
- Compact overall dimensions;
- There is a slot for a memory card;
- The case is matte, protected from the accumulation of dirt;
- Very affordable price;
- Fast interface and well thought out menu.
- Does not support .flac format;
- Weak battery.
Ritmix RF-3450 8Gb
1. Sony NWZ-B183F
This player looks very original, although it is not equipped, unlike most similar designs, with a large touch screen. The display here is notable for its small dimensions, but it is quite bright – everything will be perfectly visible on it even in direct sunlight. In addition, its small size greatly saves charging, it is monochrome, has a light blue backlight. The brightness can be adjusted manually if necessary. The body itself is metal, which only adds to the practicality of the product – it will not be scratched or covered with a layer of dirt even when used in adverse conditions. The build quality is also quite high. Almost all buttons protrude slightly from the device, so they can be easily found by touch. On one side there is a removable cover, under which there is a USB connector. The player itself is small in size – about 8 cm long, about 2 cm wide, and 1.5 cm thick.
The sound is quite acceptable, there are a large number of fine adjustments. The product is able to work with many formats. There is a playback memory, so the next time you turn it on, playback will start from where the user left off last time. A voice recorder, a microphone and other additional functions are not provided here, especially since most users consider them simply superfluous.
- Interesting and stylish design;
- No need to use additional wires;
- There is a built-in radio receiver;
- Pretty reasonable price;
- Good sound quality, especially if you connect suitable expensive headphones.
- The amount of internal memory is only 4 GB.
Players with high quality sound
3. xDuoo X10
Despite the fact that this player is somewhat clumsy in terms of design, its filling is of very high quality. Despite the fact that the appearance is not very attractive, the case is made of high-quality aluminum alloy of increased strength, so it is almost impossible to damage it even with aggressive daily use. However, this product is very convenient to use. All buttons and switches are analog, the control wheel has a decent overall dimensions, the menu is characterized by intuitiveness, which gives this gadget a significant advantage. On the front panel you can find a fairly large display, the diagonal of which is 2 inches. It is very bright, has an anti-reflective coating, so all the information will be very clearly visible even on a very sunny day. Viewing angles are narrow, but this is quite normal.
Below the screen are several buttons responsible for menu navigation and playback control. On the top side of the model there is a connector for connecting a microUSB cable and a power button, on the left there is a volume rocker and two slots for memory cards, each of them can have a capacity of up to 128 GB. The interface is completely Russified for the convenience of the user, there are not too many items in the menu – you won’t have to figure it out for a long time. You can optimally appreciate all the advantages of the player’s sound with the help of full-size headphones. The sound is thick enough, well divided into planes, the bass line is a little imposing, which gives the music additional interest. It has an accentuated selection, mid and high tones are spelled out quite clearly – not a single note is lost.
- Metal case;
- Good shape ergonomics;
- Smooth operation of all moving elements;
- High sound quality;
- Fully Russified interface;
- Practical design;
- Bright screen.
- Not so easy to get to the reset button;
- High price.
The model has small overall dimensions, so it can be easily put into a pocket of any size. The body of the product is aluminum, the front side is covered with tempered glass. Only the upper and lower end parts are made of plastic, which does not affect either the appearance or the strength of the device. The design is available in either silver or black. The build quality, like all models included in our rating of the best mp3 players, is at its best. All side corners are rounded, the back panel slides a little in the hands, but this problem is easily solved by using a silicone case that comes with the device. The weight of the product is 77 grams, so it will not hinder movement at all.
All keys on the front side are touch-sensitive, and there is also a vertical navigation strip. The device is based on the AK4376A microchip, which has 32-bit decoding, and its own 25 mW amplifier is provided. In the sound area, there are certain rises in the lower and upper parts of the range. The first one adds intensity to drums and basses, which makes it possible to achieve a winning sound for both electronic and acoustic compositions. The firmware works very quickly, navigation is carried out literally in seconds. Additional features include the presence of a five-band equalizer, absolutely all known music formats are supported.
- Sufficiently high filling power;
- Compact overall dimensions;
- Long battery life;
- The presence of an equalizer with standard and manual settings.
- It is almost impossible to notice the output power with the headphones that come with the kit, it is better to immediately buy additional headphones.
1. Cayin N3
It is made in several colors – red, black and light blue. The body is compact and fits easily in the hand. It has an anti-slip coating that reliably protects it from scratches. The back panel has an original finish, which is made of artificial leather. The display here is not touch, but color. Touch buttons are located below it. On the bottom side there is a headphone jack and a USB Type-C connector that supports fast charging. On the right side in the upper side there is a power button, and below it is a volume rocker. All keys have embossed designations that allow you to control the product by touch.
High sound quality is provided by the AK4490EN microchip, which has small overall dimensions and quite moderate power consumption. The amplifier here is ORA1622 – it is responsible for low and medium frequencies. The headphone output power is about 260 mW, which is quite enough for both vacuum products and classic earbuds. There is also an original high-speed Bluetooth v4.0 wireless interface. The frequency of the central processor Ingenic X1000 is 1 GHz. The graphical shell loads pretty quickly, works stably, no slowdowns were noticed. Battery life is about 12 hours.
- The presence of a Bluetooth module;
- Included is a silicone case;
- High sound quality;
- If necessary, the user can change the characteristics of the digital filter.
- The touch buttons are not backlit.
Players related to the premium class
3. Cowon PLENUE J
This player has a luxurious appearance: the end parts are made of polished aluminum, which has increased strength, the front side is covered with shockproof glass, the back panel is made of ribbed plastic, which reliably protects the structure from slipping out of hands. On the top of the product there is a headphone jack, on the left side there are sockets for a microUSB cable and microSD memory cards, the maximum capacity of which can be 128 GB. The touch screen diagonal is 2.8 inches. No additional functions are provided here – the player is designed exclusively for playing music. The operating system is built on the basis of Linux, the battery capacity is 1050 mAh, and the device can work offline for about 57 hours.
The interface is logical and very clear, there is a multi-channel equalizer that allows you to choose the optimal sound and save the selected settings. The player is able to recognize absolutely all available music formats, supports video in .avi, .3gp, .mpeg4 and some others. The display resolution is not too high, so it does not consume too much energy, which saves the player’s battery.
- Compact overall dimensions and low weight;
- Excellent production quality;
- Works offline for a long time;
- The sound is deep.
- The maximum capacity of the memory card is 128 GB.
Cowon PLENUE J
2. iBasso DX150
This is another player from a well-known manufacturer of similar products, which is essentially a continuation of the DX line. In terms of overall dimensions, it is similar to the previous model, however, even in this regard, some changes have been made. The display is now flush with the front panel, there is no corrugation on the back panel, it has become simply matte. The side insert with the sound level rocker and other control buttons is quite compact. The case is metal, quite weighty, all its elements are tightly fitted to each other. On the left side there is a slot for a memory card, on the top there is a USB-C slot and a standard headphone jack. The display is quite bright, has a decent resolution and color reproduction, which is as close to natural as possible. Its coating is made of oleophobic materials – they will leave fingerprints.
The firmware works stably, it is based on the Android platform, but this practically does not affect battery life. The sound quality is quite high, absolutely all frequencies are heard very clearly. The player is compatible with headphones of any format, from the cheapest to the models belonging to the premium segment.
- High output power for an mp3 player;
- The weighted aluminum case is reliably protected from physical damage;
- Works on the basis of Android;
- There are all necessary connectors and ports;
- Extended equipment.
- The oleophobic coating of the screen is very easily soiled.
1. LUXURY & PRECISION L3
A recognized leader among premium class products in most parameters, which is noted by the majority of users. The company that manufactures this player specializes in the manufacture of such devices, so everything here is thought out as carefully as possible with user-friendliness. The case is made of aluminum, the panel is carbon fiber, the weight is insignificant, the overall dimensions are quite acceptable. All structural elements are securely fitted to each other: there are no even the slightest backlashes or creaks when pressing on the case. The form does not differ in originality – a low parallelepiped with a slightly beveled top panel. On the top there are three buttons – one for turning on, and two programmable, the user himself will be able to choose their purpose. The volume control here is step by step.
The screen here is touch-sensitive, all its elements are quite large, so it is convenient to press them even in the cold season. Viewing angles for the player are very wide. In the sun, everything is visible quite acceptable. The interface is simple, you can figure it out within a few minutes. The firmware is characterized by stable operation, and the battery provides about 10 hours of operation at maximum volume. The sound is simply excellent, largely due to the high-quality channel separation. The bass is balanced, does not overlap other frequencies.
- There are a couple of customizable buttons;
- Neutral sound that does not favor any of the ranges;
- Acceptable output power;
- Good battery life.
- High price.
LUXURY & PRECISION L3
In conclusion, a useful video
The review of the best mp3 players is over. We, in turn, express the hope that the information that we have collected with such difficulty will be quite enough for you to choose the optimal product. If you have any questions, comments on this article are at your disposal.